TRAGIC SCENE: Flowers on the corner of Layard St and Brisbane St, Goodna, where three Ipswich teenagers died in a crash on April 8, 2011.
TRAGIC SCENE: Flowers on the corner of Layard St and Brisbane St, Goodna, where three Ipswich teenagers died in a crash on April 8, 2011. Sarah Harvey

Make killer driver serve 10 years

IT'S a combination of a parent's grief and a yearning for justice that drives Robyn and Frank Prior.

VICTIM: Matthew Prior.
VICTIM: Matthew Prior.

Next month - and with heavy hearts - they will mark the second anniversary of the day their teenage son died after a car, with a drunk driver behind the wheel, crashed into his vehicle in Goodna.

The man responsible for the deaths of Matthew Prior, 18, and friends Brittany Bramwell, 17, and Nicholas Saxby, 16, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail, but will be eligible for parole in February 2015.

To the heartbroken parents of the late teens, the punishment does not fit the crime.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie agreed and yesterday launched a bid in the Court of Appeal to have the sentence appealed on grounds it was inadequate.

Michael Daniel Henderson was sentenced last August after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

Henderson had been involved in a fight with a man prior to the crash on April 8, 2011.

The other man fled in his car and Henderson gave chase, running two red lights and crashing into the car carrying the three teens.

Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Moynihan told the Court of Appeal on Thursday Henderson fled the scene and when caught failed to submit to a police breath test.

"His leaving and subsequently evading the police and refusing to provide a specimen of breath on request does ... demonstrate a callous disregard for the victims," he said.

Mr Moynihan submitted Henderson's traffic history, which he said showed a propensity for dangerous behaviour and that he showed little remorse.

Mr Moynihan argued for a 10-year sentence or at least nine years with no parole eligibility date for the "dangerous driving causing death" offence.

APPEAL HEARING: Michael Henderson.
APPEAL HEARING: Michael Henderson.

Counsel for Henderson, John Allen, denied his client had a callous disregard for the victims. "When he left the scene, which he admitted by his plea of guilty to circumstances of aggravation, it was obvious that other persons were attending and emergency services would be attending," he said.

"It did not carry that callous disregard that may have been involved if it was an accident on an isolated stretch of road with no other persons there to assist and he left in his own vehicle."

Outside of court, Mrs Prior said Henderson should be made an example of.

"We all want justice and we have not got it," she said.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.



Not just physical: The DV behaviour to be outlawed

Premium Content Not just physical: The DV behaviour to be outlawed

Qld DV laws: Coercive and controlling behaviour outlawed

Best holiday deals as state opens for business

Premium Content Best holiday deals as state opens for business

Queensland surge as border barricades crumble

2200 lives lost: And no justice for broken families

Premium Content 2200 lives lost: And no justice for broken families

True crime stories of shocking violence documented in detail